BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower hopes young goalkeeper Joe Green will use his time out of the team to reflect, as he persists with using the more experienced Tom Nicholson.

Green had been a shoo-in all season, but after making a few costly errors, he has been replaced by Nicholson for the last three games.

Whether Bower decides to stick or twist for tomorrow's Vanarama National League North clash at league leaders King's Lynn Town remains to be seen.

He said: "Those at the top end of the table tend to have consistency in selection. They're in good form and have confidence so it means you see similar line-ups week in, week out.

"But we'd been conceding and losing so it's not just Tom we've drafted in, we're just trying to find the right balance.

"Tom's more experienced than Joe so I thought that could help us. Joe had put in some strong performances but then he made a couple of isolated mistakes which led to goals (in recent weeks).

"But he's still young, so hopefully he can reflect and get back on track."

The whole Avenue team will have to try and get back on track at King's Lynn, but that will be tough, after a devastating 2-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Gloucester City last weekend left them needing miracles to survive.

Bower was left exasperated by the defeat, feeling that Gloucester somewhat fortuitously capitalised on Bradford's mistakes, while his side, yet again, could not take their chances.

He also felt that if Avenue could have just got a second, after Liam Hughes pulled one back, then they would have gone on to win with the wind behind them.

Another team licking their wounds after losing their last game are King's Lynn, who suffered a shock 2-0 home defeat to mid-table Kidderminster Harriers on February 1.

Bower said: "That just gives you a measure of the league that Kidderminster defeat. It's very even.

"Even with us, against the top three over the last few months, we've pushed Boston, York and King's Lynn all the way and only suffered narrow defeats.

"Not many people will expect it, but we know we're capable of getting a result at King's Lynn (tomorrow) if we do our jobs properly."

Asked about King's Lynn's attacking prowess, Bower said: "Their midfielders lay on chances for their two forwards, who do take them. They've scored 40 or 50 between them and we know what impact that can have.

"Any win, 3-2 or 1-0, is the same, as long as you're scoring more than the opposition, that's the aim."

Avenue have only done that three times all season, hardly surprising when you consider their threadbare squad, which will at least include full-back Stelios Demetriou at King's Lynn after his return from suspension.

Asked whether the enforced inclusion of 38-year-old assistant manager Danny Boshell on the bench against Gloucester summed up Bradford's season, Bower said: "Gloucester was a game we had to win, but they're able to sign players from the league above and pay transfer fees.

"We've tried to get quality in but we're still low on numbers. That's just where the club is. The focus is really off the pitch, for long-term sustainability and success.

"But it does mean we've struggled to maintain performances on the pitch over the last six to 12 months."


National League North: King’s Lynn Town v Bradford (Park Avenue), Gloucester City v Farsley Celtic, Kettering Town v Guiseley

Northern Premier League North West: City of Liverpool v Brighouse Town

Northern Counties East League Premier Division: Albion Sports v Knaresborough Town, Bottesford Town v Thackley, Eccleshill United v Barton Town

North West Counties League First Division North: Pilkington v Steeton